G34 2015-16: OILERS AT AVALANCHE

The Edmonton Oilers are quickly approaching the halfway point of the season, and the storylines have been a mixture of incredible highs and devastating lows. I do not recall a moment in Oilers history since G7 2006 that had the same impact as our collective pall after the Connor McDavid injury against the Philadelphia Flyers. I imagine its equal—in the positive—occurs on the night he returns. We are approaching the celebration of Jesus’ birthday, so I will be careful in my wording, but surely McDavid’s return is the second most anticipated event of this month.

Matty has a ton in that article, I won’t quote it all so make sure you click. One thing worth passing along: Looks like Edmonton may change up the pairings, but not Nurse—Sekera. Huh. Later in the GDT, we will have a look at that SC/against per 60 and try to find some blue clues.

GET OUT OF DENVER, YEAR OVER YEAR

  • Oilers in October 2014: 4-5-1
  • Oilers in October 2015: 4-8-0
  • Oilers in November 2014: 2-9-3
  • Oilers in November 2015: 4-7-2
  • Oilers in December 2014: 2-8-4
  • Oilers in December 2015: 6-2-0
  • Oilers after 33 in 2014-15: 7-21-5, 19 points (-47 GD)
  • Oilers after 33 in 2015-16: 14-17-2, 30 points (-13 GD)

Game 34 one year ago saw Edmonton lose in a shootout, the first point in a long time for the Donner Party of 2014-15. Taylor Hall had a big game, if he had stayed healthy maybe the season would have turned out differently. The goal differential slipped a little in Chicago, hopefully Edmonton gets it back to -10 or better in the near future.

THE DEFENSE, 2015-16

OILERS DEFENSE OVER SEASON

Brandon Davidson is enjoying a very good rookie season, one of the obscure stories that I hope sees the light of day in the second half of the season. He is on pace for less than 20 points, and he is far from a 20-minutes a night defender, but he may have some room to grow and has been a revelation.

Oscar Klefbom is on track for more than 30 points, with his recent absence showing the entire hockey world his true value. Andrej Sekera started slowly (they all did) but has been strong and effective (despite the Corsi number) while climbing Everest. Darnell Nurse is playing too high on the depth chart, and as I mentioned above Todd McLellan appears to be content with the possession number. One reason could be Nurse’s scoring chance against number. Along with Nurse, they are facing tough opponents and the scoring chance number is not cratering like the Corsi’s. Something to observe as we roll along. I remain hopeful we see a tweak when Oscar returns.

Eric Gryba is an interesting player. I know he isn’t a ‘wow’ player, but both Peter Chiarelli and Todd McLellan valued his player-type in their previous jobs. I would not be shocked if the team re-signed him in a 6-7D role for the coming year. Would you?

CENTERMEN, 2015-16

oilers centers over season

The projections for Edmonton’s centers are incredible, if they can keep it up we are looking at some fine boxcars for spring. Draisaitl (84 points), Nuge (58) and McDavid (57 if he returned today) are all substantial talents and the Oilers haven’t had three offensive centers like this in a long damned time.

It looks like two of these centers will play together tonight, perhaps as prep for the coming Pouliot—McDavid—Eberle line:

POSSIBLE LINES TONIGHT

  • Hall—Nugent-Hopkins—Draisaitl
  • Purcell—Hendricks—Eberle
  • Korpikoski—Letestu—Pakarinen
  • Gazdic—Lander—Khaira

If Pouliot can draw in, I imagine Purcell falls down to the Letestu line and Pakarinen sends Gazdic or Khaira to the pressbox. If it is Khaira, we could be days away from another trip to Bakersfield for the rookie. A nice first showing for sure. I like the top line, wish they had a little more zoom for the 2line and cannot wait for McDavid to get back into the lineup. That will be my Christmas present, more than willing to wait.

WINGERS, 2015-16

oil forwards over season

Taylor Hall is on pace for 87 points (The Hockey News does all the work) and Teddy Purcell is on track for 50 points. This segment of the roster shows a lot of promise, but beyond maybe four guys (Hall, Eberle, Pouliot, Hendricks) employment in Edmonton for next year is uncertain—even then a guy like Eberle could be sent away.

Edmonton will probably add some depth wingers in the off-season, but I do like the looks of Iiro Pakarinen, would like to see more of Jujhar Khaira and believe Anton Slepyshev is a substantial prospect. Vulnerable names on the current roster (imo) include Luke Gazdic, Lauri Korpikoski and Rob Klinkhammer.

I think Peter Chiarelli is shopping one or all of Justin Schultz, Nikita Nikitin and Mark Fayne. Is there anything of interest to Edmonton?

  • Utica Comets: Vancouver’s minor league team has some nice players (Hunter Shinkaruk, Brendan Gaunce, Nicklas Jensen) but you wonder if any are available. Jordan Subban is an interesting player, but again the Canucks probably want to see how things play out. Alexandre Grenier might be a player of interest to Chiarelli.
  • Springfield Falcons: Arizona’s farm team is always fun, lots of cool players. I doubt they would deal him so soon after turning pro, but Michael Bunting is a player who looked good on draft day. Don’t discount Edmonton’s possible interest in Henrik Samuelsson. They wanted him on his draft day, reports had them thinking about trading up (the Moroz pick) to get him. He did not play last night, though.

I think that is the kind of player Edmonton may be seeking in trade from now to the deadline, younger players who perhaps haven’t shown as well as hoped as new professionals. Samuelsson would be a player of interest to Edmonton, I would bet good liquor on it.

We don’t talk about this very much, because I hate excuses and everyone deals with injury. Still, if the Oilers can run their full roster for a couple of months in early 2016, it bodes well for their final win total. Any guesses? 30? 35? Fun to think about, at least this season.

Not sure what to make of this, Yakimov did suffer an injury earlier in the year but as far as anyone could tell he was a big part of the team when healthy. If he does go back, hard to imagine the transaction without Edmonton’s blessing. Le strange.

Condors outdoor game goes this afternoon, rained out last night. Rain in California is cause for celebration, so we should consider it a blessing.

MCDAVID SKATING

  • McDavid’s agent Jeff Jackson: “The Oilers have a time line, with different milestones where he can do certain things on the ice. He’ll move towards puck handling soon. It will be up to the doctors and the therapists [when he begins to shoot pucks].” Source

Two things: The Oilers are passing along information very carefully, and every step has seen them moving the timeline up. I have said New Year’s Eve, and perhaps that is aggressive, but it looks fairly certain he will be playing a lot of the January schedule. Music!

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334 Responses to "G34 2015-16: OILERS AT AVALANCHE"

« Older Comments
  1. Dr. Taboggan says:

    Terrible penalty call on Poo. And of course they score.

  2. Ice Sage says:

    Why even try, eh?

  3. Pouzar says:

    And Schultz right back out there on the PP.

  4. SayItAin'tSo, Gretz, SayItAin'tSo! says:

    What the FUCK TMac! Why the hell is he still out there! Goddammit

  5. flyfish1168 says:

    Specialty team game tonight is killing us. Not 5 x 5

  6. Centre of attention says:

    Pitty calls hahaha.

    These refs need to be fined.

  7. square_wheels says:

    But a pp where the D gets a shot on the net…..imagine if we had that.

    Jultz back out.

    Fuck this, I won’t let this ruin my day.

    Being a fan of this team, jeebus.

  8. Lucinius says:

    Gee, what a shock. Schultz couldn’t hold the zone.

    Why is he on the powerplay again? Because the coach hasn’t got a clue. Sorry, but he doesn’t. Schultz on the powerplay at this point is something that simply can’t be defended. There are better options on the Oiler roster, especially for the first unit.

  9. Pouzar says:

    Good night folks.

  10. Centre of attention says:

    Sekera running the point FINALLY.

  11. leadfarmer says:

    Right back with Schultz huh, what’s the definition of insanity again

  12. Kmart99 says:

    Varlomov looking good. Jultz looking jultzy. Peace.

  13. Dr. Taboggan says:

    Oilers passing on the PP is embarrassing.

  14. square_wheels says:

    Pouzar,

    Same. What a disaster.

  15. Lucinius says:

    leadfarmer:
    what’s the definition of insanity again

    Being the coach of the Edmonton Oilers.

  16. SayItAin'tSo, Gretz, SayItAin'tSo! says:

    It’s too bad because they actually played a great period. Squandered for sure but still a great period. Maybe its times for one of those come from behind wins

  17. pocession charge says:

    McDavid. McDavid. McDavid. McDavid.

    *repeats while staring at TV with eyes glazed over*

  18. Gerta Rauss says:

    Disappointing result after 1 period

    Lots of time left but it’s uphill from here

  19. leadfarmer says:

    The Edmonton Oilers leading the NHL in fans turning of the TV after the first period since 2007

  20. LMHF#1 says:

    The oilers are skating fast and attacking, but the shots have been weak.

    Got to hit those corners boys.

  21. godot10 says:

    There is no net presence on the Oilers power play. It makes it easier to put a man tight to Schultz on the point if no one has to worry about a guy in front of the net.

    Both Krueger and Nelson always had a forward who was willing to occupy a defender in front of the net on the power play, which gives a fraction of second more time for the point man.

    It shows in the chances against the Oilers on the power play.

    McLellan wants to play all skill guys on the power play. The skill guys in San Jose would get to the paint. The Oilers skill guys don’t really go there consistently.

    i.e. He is trying to run too complicated a power play.

  22. tcho says:

    SayItAin’tSo, Gretz, SayItAin’tSo!,

    Well said, Gretz. This ain’t over!

  23. RexLibris says:

    I cannot WAIT to hear McLean and others renew their calls for the NHL to step in and “prevent” the Oilers from drafting 1st overall again.

    When they do, I hope we christen it the Bengt Gustafsson rule – for the express purpose of further screwing over the Edmonton Oilers, the only remaining WHA city in the NHL.

  24. square_wheels says:

    John Lennon 75th bday concert, do songwriters really get any better ?

  25. Centre of attention says:

    I will catch the PVR later. I’m going to get too angry watching it live.

    Klefbom needs to come back and run the 1st unit PP.

    Everything will be right in the universe when 77 / 97 are back

  26. Lowetide says:

    That was a weird period to my eye. Nurse-Sekera looked good, later in the period I saw Nurse-Davidson too and there was about 2 minutes of Nurse-Gryba that was a tire fire. Is that right?

  27. PaperDesigner says:

    Justin Schultz, if he is a hockey player at all, is not a National Hockey League Player. He is beyond worthless at this level, and frankly, I can’t wait for his pathetic excuse of a game to be as far away from the Oilers as possible. I would wave him. Between periods.

  28. flyfish1168 says:

    Lowetide:
    That was a weird period to my eye. Nurse-Sekera looked good, later in the period I saw Nurse-Davidson too and there was about 2 minutes of Nurse-Gryba that was a tire fire. Is that right?

    justin in PP was a god awful. No one can ever convince me he is a good offensive dman. With all the minutes and years of development wasted on him its a shame. He is offensive alright

  29. Lowetide says:

    flyfish1168: justin in PP was a god awful

    Yes.

  30. Dr. Taboggan says:

    All situations the Oilers were 62.5% according to the corgi’s. Moral victories.

  31. Dicky94 says:

    Trade suggestion! Shultz for Fayne! At least we never gave up anything to get Shultz. I know he has given me high blood pressure though!

  32. PhrankLee says:

    Nurse got clobbered late there. He had a real tough shift with Gryba.

    All kinds of monkey business that period.

    Concealing the puck, of all the calls.. I do not remember the last time I saw it called.

  33. tcho says:

    Aren’t people being a little too hard on 19? The puck hopped over his stick, and it was partly a bad play from the forward on the half wall, no? This happens in hockey, no?

    Sorry – please return to your regularly scheduled Schultz bashing.

  34. Lowetide says:

    tcho:
    Aren’t people being a little too hard on 19? The puck hopped over his stick, and it was partly a bad play from the forward on the half wall, no? This happens in hockey, no?

    Sorry – please return to your regularly scheduled Schultz bashing.

    I don’t think it is bashing to suggest he move off the PP until he gets more confidence. I think that is probably the right play here.

  35. Lucinius says:

    PhrankLee:
    Nurse got clobbered late there. He had a real tough shift with Gryba.

    All kinds of monkey business that period.

    Concealing the puck, of all the calls.. I do not remember the last time I saw it called.

    I saw it called in the game I watched before the Oiler game; Dallas/Montreal. It happens now and then. My stream didn’t show a good angle on it, so I have no idea if he did, but from what I could see I could understand a ref calling it.

  36. Dicky94 says:

    tcho,

    Not 3 or 4 times a game to the same guy.

  37. Klima's_Bucket says:

    Lowetide: move off the PP

    Move off the 1st unit PP and up to the popcorn seats??

  38. LMHF#1 says:

    tcho:
    Aren’t people being a little too hard on 19? The puck hopped over his stick, and it was partly a bad play from the forward on the half wall, no? This happens in hockey, no?

    Sorry – please return to your regularly scheduled Schultz bashing.

    It is his reaction. He barely moved and looked to be spaced out.

  39. Klima's_Bucket says:

    LMHF#1: It is his reaction

    But how was his body language?

  40. Lowetide says:

    Great shift by Hall.

  41. BAUCE says:

    Dr. Taboggan:
    All situations the Oilers were 62.5% according to the corgi’s. Moral victories.

    moral victories do not concern me, taboggan! I want that W, not excuses!

  42. Dr. Taboggan says:

    Every game I love Davidson a little more.

  43. Zelepukin says:

    Gryba-Niks against the Mackinnon line? That’s ballsy.

  44. Klima's_Bucket says:

    Dr. Taboggan: Every game I love Davidson a little more.

    Yeah, but what are your thoughts on Schultz??

  45. PhrankLee says:

    Taylor is a man now.

    He plays like a man now.

  46. Dr. Taboggan says:

    Klima’s_Bucket,

    Soft body language.

  47. Zelepukin says:

    Dr. Taboggan:
    Klima’s_Bucket,

    Soft body language.

    That’s an understatement. No one looks like he doesn’t want to play in the NHL, more than Jultz.

  48. Lowetide says:

    Bob McKenzie ‏@TSNBobMcKenzie 4m4 minutes ago

    NHL roster freeze goes into effect tonite at midnight. 21 (and counting) of 30 teams have indicated they have nothing going on trade front.

  49. Lucinius says:

    Schultz needs to be traded. For his sake as much as that of the Oilers. He needs a fresh start.

  50. Lowetide says:

    Ha! Well. That is probably it for the Oilers tonight. Disappointing game.

  51. Halfwise says:

    The nice things will have to wait, apparently.

    Le sigh.

  52. leadfarmer says:

    Lowetide,

    Haven’t been expecting much since kbomb went down but these guys need a wake up call.

  53. Dr. Taboggan says:

    Lowetide,

    What a deflating game. I thought they were playing well tonight. Nilsson is doing a pretty good Scrivens impression. Hard to win with a .850 save percentage.

  54. PhrankLee says:

    Greg Millen gets my most improved goalie who is now a broadcaster award.

  55. tcho says:

    Well, Giant Swedish Goalie Monster’s come back to earth in a big way.

  56. Lowetide says:

    leadfarmer:
    Lowetide,

    Haven’t been expecting much since kbomb went down but these guys need a wake up call.

    I see it a little differently. This is a frustrating game, and the gang can’t shoot straight, but luck has been a bitch and their goalie is playing very well. I don’t think the Oilers have played badly tonight. Jmo.

  57. leadfarmer says:

    When you have crap defensemen the 131 system is probably better than the 2 gunner system

  58. tcho says:

    Lowetide,

    Yeah, I’m with you on that.

  59. Lucinius says:

    I’m done for the night. Between our powerplay and Varly this ain’t happening.

  60. flyfish1168 says:

    Lowetide: I see it a little differently. This is a frustrating game, and the gang can’t shoot straight, but luck has been a bitch and their goalie is playing very well. I don’t think the Oilers have played badly tonight. Jmo.

    Hall scores on that play most nights.

  61. Lowetide says:

    42-27 61% after two periods. Which of course doesn’t count for a hill of beans. six shots for Hall.

  62. leadfarmer says:

    Lowetide,

    You create your own luck. Not being able to set up a pp is not luck, throwing Nurse out to the wolves every night is not luck. Having one not injured top 4 defenseman is only bad luck if you started with more than 2. Sure they hit some hot goalies but so does every other team yet they find a way to score. They haven’t scored now in over 6 periods. I was expecting them to lose every game until Klefbom comes back for what it’s worth but at least they could score a few

  63. cadooo says:

    Kids with the Hall.

  64. Colieo87 says:

    Game over peeps nothing to see here.

  65. Halfwise says:

    Disappointed with the score, naturally, but they’re not playing badly 5 on 5 for the most part.

    Frickin Varlamov is ‘like wall’ this month. He should save that for Calgary and Vancouver.

  66. Gret99zky says:

    “The goal differential slipped a little in Chicago, hopefully Edmonton gets it back to -10 or better in the near future.”

    Gotta pot a couple in the third.

  67. Gret99zky says:

    sweet

  68. Halfwise says:

    Sekera!

  69. Loyal2theoil says:

    Seky

    Can we channel our inner Flames here?

  70. StevieG_8 says:

    Wooooh!! Sekera!! Just got home so I’m hoping it’s comeback time!

  71. Gerta Rauss says:

    Davidson hurt

    The hockey gods are just fucking with us now

  72. Yak Efron says:

    I guess we are now calling a crosscheck a “push”.

  73. Halfwise says:

    That doesn’t look good at all.

    Who did we piss off?

  74. flyfish1168 says:

    I believe it was a push/cross check into the ribs that got Davidson.

  75. Kmart99 says:

    “Push” … Lol.

    Crosschecking and boarding all in one

  76. LMHF#1 says:

    Thanks Schultz.

    He shouldn’t play for this team again. It’s over.

  77. Halfwise says:

    Ladies and gentlemen, we give you Jultz and NN.

  78. tcho says:

    Well, 1-3 road trip. I think we all would have settled for a 2-2, so they’re falling a bit short. Need to make up some ground at some point though.

  79. theres oil in virginia says:

    Yeah, this is the NHL I know. Cross-checks, trips, interference, no problem. Don’t dare close your hand on that puck though. This league is a joke. Thanks Gary.

  80. Zelepukin says:

    LMHF#1:
    Thanks Schultz.

    He shouldn’t play for this team again. It’s over.

    Seriously.

  81. Kmart99 says:

    Suspect Griff and Fayne might be playing vs. WINNIPEG

  82. admiralmark says:

    So looks like our D will now be Sekera, Nurse, Schultz, Nikitin, Gryba, Ference. Zero chance u win a game with that D core. Zero.

  83. Henry says:

    flyfish1168:
    I believe it was a push/cross check into the ribs that got Davidson.

    You are right. Crosscheck to rib. Rib to lung. Lung unable to breathe properly. Player down. Pretty simple. No call here.

  84. leadfarmer says:

    Halfwise:
    Ladies and gentlemen, we give you Jultz and NN.

    Why did all the forwards go for a line change when the puck is in their own zone, Lolz

  85. Protagonist says:

    Fire Schultz. Out of a cannon. Into the sun.

  86. Henry says:

    Halfwise:
    Ladies and gentlemen, we give you Jultz and NN.

    That play was so last year.

    Fayne has his career put aside for much less.

  87. unca miltie says:

    Kmart99:
    Suspect Griff and Fayne might be playing vs. WINNIPEG

    If gryba and gadzook are going to do nothing payback, then time for some different muscle.

  88. Kmart99 says:

    If I was the opposition I would never crosscheck Jultz. Too important that he remain in the game to cost the Oilers the game. Davidson though, ya, take him out. I’d do the same.

  89. leadfarmer says:

    When you absolutely need a goal who do you call? Gryba

  90. leadfarmer says:

    Kmart99,

    If the guy you spent a fortune on isn’t ready to play in his 4th season after being drafted on this d corpse it may be wise to get something for that asset while it still has value

  91. tcho says:

    Varlamov currently at a .975 save %. Nilsson currently @ .852.

    Edit – make that an .821.

  92. leadfarmer says:

    Nilsson should not start for a few games. Has not been sharp for a while.

  93. JDï™ says:

    Lander is the type of guy that you would want to date your daughter.

  94. Zelepukin says:

    I would rather have Ference in the lineup than Jultz. I thought I’d never say that, but this is reality.

  95. tcho says:

    Step back from the ledge, Lowetidians.

  96. Henry says:

    JDï™:
    Lander is the type of guy that you would want to date your daughter.

    He’s a eunuch?

  97. Henry says:

    Terry Jones ‏@sunterryjones 16m16 minutes ago
    Christmas trade freeze saves Schultz and Nikitin from a gimme-a-Zamboni-and-a-pail-of-pucks deal.

    That’s $8M per year of incompetence.

    $100000 for this game alone.

  98. admiralmark says:

    I’ve said this before and i’ll say it again. Schultz continued reliance in this lineup with zero accountability for his errors is damning evidence of incompetence by Chia and Tmac. Previous management we all know were pathetic at talent assessment. Tell me whats changed?

  99. Oil2Oilers says:

    Zelepukin:
    I would rather have Ference in the lineup than Jultz. I thought I’d never say that, but this is reality.

    Ference partnered with Jultz against Winnipeg!

  100. JDï™ says:

    Henry: He’s a eunuch?

    He will never score.

  101. Zelepukin says:

    Henry:
    Terry Jones ‏@sunterryjones16m16 minutes ago
    Christmas trade freeze saves Schultz and Nikitin from a gimme-a-Zamboni-and-a-pail-of-pucks deal.

    admiralmark:
    I’ve said this before and i’ll say it again. Schultz continued reliance in this lineup with zero accountability for his errors is damning evidence of incompetence by Chia and Tmac. Previous management we all know were pathetic at talent assessment. Tell me whats changed?

    Correct me if I’m wrong but is that Jones quip one of the first actual moments where anyone in media has actually mentioned how horrible Jultz is? It’s like there is an embargo on mentioning the horrifficness that is Jultz.

    Every fan knows how horrible he is and yet he is still put out there as some kind of contract stipulation MacT agreed to, that states he is guaranteed 1st PP and can not be sent to the minors.

  102. russ99 says:

    Oil2Oilers: Ference partnered with Jultz against Winnipeg!

    If we want to see Schultz play better he has to stop being paired with Nikitin, Gryba and Ference.

    Also the coach playing him in roles he obviously isn’t suited for and taking him away from his strengths,

    Really losing the belief in McLellan. Is the plan really to run the cycle system in all situations and vs. all opponents? If so, he’s as bad a game manager as Eakins.

  103. Halfwise says:

    admiralmark: damning evidence of incompetence by Chia and Tmac

    Venomdad? That you under a new name?

  104. JAG-041 says:

    Problem is… If Davidson is out, we’re left with no one to put Jultz with except Nikitin or Gryba… Literally
    We have Nurse and Sekera, then nothing… And I was excited to go see them play Monday.
    The defense was horrendous tonight, and they don’t even have any options.

  105. Younger Oil says:

    At what point to we stop blaming Schultz and Nikitin and start blaming the people who sign them and play them when there are clearly better options available?

    I mean, if it was Martin Gernat playing in the lineup every night and sucking every night, I doubt many people would blame him BECAUSE HE ISN’T AN NHL PLAYER.

    Nikitin and Schultz aren’t NHL players either, and it’s not their fault they are getting paid a lot of money and being asked to play against players that are clearly not on their level.

    I mean, I know management and coaching have their hands tied to some extent with injuries and inheriting bad contracts, but I don’t think you can make the argument that Fayne is worse than Schultz or Nikitin.

  106. OilClog says:

    nananananana Ference batman Ference

    Nananananana

  107. Pretendergast says:

    Younger Oil,

    painting lipstick on a pig, they’re all bad, they all have terrible contracts, none of them are improvements on the other.

    Does Schultz clear waivers? I don’t think he does, others may disagree.

  108. admiralmark says:

    russ99: If we want to see Schultz play better he has to stop being paired with Nikitin, Gryba and Ference.

    Also the coach playing him in roles he obviously isn’t suited for and taking him away from his strengths,

    Really losing the belief in McLellan. Is the plan really to run the cycle system in all situations and vs. all opponents? If so, he’s as bad a game manager as Eakins.

    Could you explain what aspects you believe Schultz has that could be labeled Strengths? What exactly does he bring to the table thats NHL quality? His shot? His stick handling? His outlet pass? His thinking the game? His mental sharpness? His physical game? His speed? His Defensive capabilities? THIS IS A BAD JOKE ON ALL OF US. This is not and NHL player and has not been one for 90% of his career. But the Schultz experiment continues. Pathetic job by Tmac and Chia in regards to this player.

  109. Pretendergast says:

    admiralmark,

    We gave MacT and friends a long enough time to prove themselves incompetent, let’s give the guy who we all agree has had success (relevant to his job I might add) a little more than 6 months.

  110. PaperDesigner says:

    Pretendergast:
    Younger Oil,

    painting lipstick on a pig, they’re all bad, they all have terrible contracts, none of them are improvements on the other.

    Does Schultz clear waivers? I don’t think he does, others may disagree.

    If Schultz gets claimed on waivers, I will eat my hat. There may be a team willing to take him as a reclamation project, but not at nearly four million.

  111. Pretendergast says:

    People, we are a hobbled team on the road against a hot goalie, the freaking Blackhawks, and what was before?

    6 game win streak.

    lets all just relax and get ready to enjoy the success a healthy team with a generational player and #4 brings, this trip is a bump in the road.

  112. Halfwise says:

    PaperDesigner: If Schultz gets claimed on waivers, I will eat my hat. There may be a team willing to take him as a reclamation project, but not at nearly four million.

    Fayne passed through, with a smaller contract, more term and arguably a better reputation.

  113. PaperDesigner says:

    Pretendergast:
    People, we are a hobbled team on the road against a hot goalie, the freaking Blackhawks, and what was before?

    6 game win streak.

    lets all just relax and get ready to enjoy the success a healthy team with a generational player and #4 brings, this trip is a bump in the road.

    A healthy team with a generational player is not guaranteed to even happen this season. Who says that this team ever gets healthy? Besides, none of that solves how this team is to be separated from the horror that is Justin Schultz playing a regular shift.

  114. rickithebear says:

    Versus

    East con top 6: 9 of 12 games played 75.0%
    5W-3L-1OTL 11/18 P .611

    East Conf team 7-11 2/10 played 20%
    2W 4/4 P

    East Conf BOT 5: 5 of 10 played 50%
    1W – 4L 2/10 P .200

    EC: 16/32played
    8-7-1 17/32 P .531

    West Conf top 6: 11 of 20 played 55%
    1-9-1 3/22 p .136

    West con bot 7: 7 of 30 played 23.3%
    4W-3l 8/14 p .571

  115. Halfwise says:

    Anybody know where to find a Jultz Whisperer? His problems are all in his head.

    Put some neodymium magnets in his helmet or something. Not quite on center; maybe it’ll help him find the seam from the point.

  116. russ99 says:

    admiralmark: Could you explain what aspects you believe Schultz has that could be labeled Strengths? What exactly does he bring to the table thats NHL quality? His shot? His stick handling? His outlet pass? His thinking the game? His mental sharpness? His physical game? His speed? His Defensive capabilities? THIS IS A BAD JOKE ON ALL OF US. This is not and NHL player and has not been one for 90% of his career. But the Schultz experiment continues. Pathetic job by Tmac and Chia in regards to this player.

    Moving the puck out of the d-zone, carrying and passing on the rush; movement, creativity and passing in the offensive zone.

    Plus before he got hurt he played vastly better in the D-zone with competent partners.

    If he’s the just a crease clearer on D, the last man out of the defensive zone, isn’t allowed to move the puck on offense since everyone’s impulse to create in space is sacrificed to the almighty cycle and a static point shot on the powerplay, he’s being completely wasted.

  117. LMHF#1 says:

    Pretendergast:
    People, we are a hobbled team on the road against a hot goalie, the freaking Blackhawks, and what was before?

    6 game win streak.

    lets all just relax and get ready to enjoy the success a healthy team with a generational player and #4 brings, this trip is a bump in the road.

    Not having road trips where you lay eggs 75% of the games would be really nice. They generated zero offence. Inexcusable.

  118. admiralmark says:

    Pretendergast:
    admiralmark,

    We gave MacT and friends a long enough time to prove themselves incompetent, let’s give the guy who we all agree has had success (relevant to his job I might add) a little more than 6 months.

    I actually believe that TMac and Chia are competent at what they do. Every GM makes mistakes. The continuation of both Coach and GM banging their heads against the wall in regards to giving Schultz unlimited opportunity is mind boggling to me. You have to look the players in the eye in that room and say you as a coach are doing the best you can to help them win. And this cluster F#$k of a player keeps hopping over the boards to man the point on the PP?! It’s contrary to competent thinking so what is the reason? I’m open to conspiracies at this point. :Logical thought is not useful here.

  119. BONE207 says:

    Pretendergast,

    Bump in the road? We fell through the ice. Walking on the ocean floor with bad contracts, Jultz & dragging around a bunch of dead or injured…like Davey Jones Locker. Ayyyyy Captain…I don’t see any Wheeeeeels.

  120. Gerta Rauss says:

    TMac post game audio

    http://oilers.nhl.com/club/podcastplayer.htm?pid=98&iid=53266

    One line and maybe a couple other players doesn’t get it done

  121. AsiaOil says:

    Wrong team got the great goaltending tonight. Nilsson let in 3 bad ones and needed to make the save on the others. Feel bad for the boys (especially the Hall line) who played well and got sunk by crap goaltending and defense (yeah looking at you Shultz & Niki). Really wish they had stayed with Talbot as you can tell Nilsson needs time as a backup to get his form back. It’s been dodgy since the first NYR game.

    Hall line carrying the load alone again with RNH sporting a racy -5 the last 2 games. When we get our 2nd line back it’s time to make a decision about what more important – $12 million on the 3rd line or a couple of decent defensemen. But let’s not get too strung out here. The defense is dodgy at best and now utterly decimated by injury. Good news is the guys will be back and one big trade fixes a huge number of issues – gotta be the right guy though……..Burns, Burns, Burns

  122. admiralmark says:

    russ99: Moving the puck out of the d-zone, carrying and passing on the rush; movement, creativity and passing in the offensive zone.

    Plus before he got hurt he played vastly better in the D-zone with competent partners.

    If he’s the just a crease clearer on D, the last man out of the defensive zone, isn’t allowed to move the puck on offense since everyone’s impulse to create in space is sacrificed to the almighty cycle and a static point shot on the powerplay, he’s being completely wasted.

    I dont see this from this player. Was he better at the beginning of the season then last? Yes, marginally. Moving the puck out of the zone is absolutely a weakness of his. See 1st goal tonight. See many many games of him throwing the puck to the other teams player. Does the team have to change the style of play to cater to Schultz now? When does this end? I will just agree to disagree with the 25% of the fans that still think theres a player there. I’ve been arguing this point for almost 2 years now. Obviously we just see the game differently.

  123. McSorley33 says:

    russ99,

    Moving the puck and passing?

    He has literally made tape to tape passes to the opposition for three games in a row.

    All alone behind the net tonight…..soft butter up the boards on the tape of an Avalanche player.

    So offence is his game you say, ZERO goals and 3 assists.

    Elite forwards on this team…..and Justin has 3 points!

    4 th line goon for the Jets has 1 goal and 3 assists …..

  124. Pretendergast says:

    admiralmark,

    It is confusing, but I am very sure Schultz is the play only because they need the other guys actually playing the position during the meat of the game (5 on 5).

    In theory (and a truly competitive team) yes you earn the time on the PP and Schultz hasn’t done that.

    But if we look at it realistically, it ‘should’ be safest for Schultz to be on the ice on the PP and he does have offensive zone skills above guys like Nikitin, Fayne, even Davidson.

    Faint praise I know, but its a tradeoff our team has to make.

    I believe Chiarelli is on the phones constantly, and Tmac is putting Schultz in a position to succeed but also ensuring the least amount of damage to his team 5 on 5 by having better defenders out there.

    He got the 18mins evens tonight because of Davidson, Klef, etc. There’s only so many bodies.

  125. Bruce McCurdy says:

    theres oil in virginia:
    Yeah, this is the NHL I know.Cross-checks, trips, interference, no problem.Don’t dare close your hand on that puck though.This league is a joke.Thanks Gary.

    This. Pouliot got sticked 4 different times on that play, MacKinnon got him on the hands, the side, and the face, then after Pouliot allegedly covered the puck for a billisecond Landeskog came in & gave him a short crosscheck in the back of the neck. And Pouliot got the only fucking penalty.

    I watched the sequence about a dozen times & just got more incredulous as I watched. About 40 minutes into the broadcast if anybody hasn’t burned the tape yet. The replay angle is better than the live view.

    And of course they scored the game winning goal on that powerplay.

    That wasn’t the ball game, but it was an annoying Part of the ballgame.

  126. SwedishPoster says:

    They had a little more jump but that felt like a lying shot clock, they were never truly close to score more than 1-2 tbh. A corsi lie if you will. A lot of shots but not a lot of them forced Varlamov to do much more than be composed and in position. And that’s something he could do in his sleep. Thing is the shots should have been of higher quality considering at least a bunch of them were taken from good ice and without much pressure from a very poorly structured Avs D, they were just not properly executed. There was also zero net presence all night. The first time anyone truly crashed the net was with 2-3 minutes left. If you’re up against an elite goalie on a hot streak you better get in his grill from the first shift or it’s going to be a long night. Hell take an early goalie interference penalty if needed, reffing is awful anyway so they’ll find something random to call anyway to keep penalties somewhat even for both teams. Might as well make the penalty count.

    When your shots are easy pickings and you make massive mistakes at your own end you’ll never be close to winning, shot clock be damned.

    Regarding Schultz on the PP this is what, the fourth coach who keeps putting him out there. And outside of Krueger noone has really gotten consistent results. So the question is why? Lack of options sure but Sekera, Klefbom have been better this year and he still keeps getting chances. Maybe they see that the issue is confidence and they feel that once he gets it back his mojo will return as well but if so why keep putting him in the spotlight and add to his(and others) frustration. Why not let him find his game 5v5? Maybe he looks elite in practise but can’t perform come game time. But then why not get him on the second PP until the coin drops?

    Or do they see something we’re all missing? I’ve defended Schultz overall play as I feel the critique is over the top but on the PP he’s so clearly struggling it seems everyone agrees no matter the opinion on Schultz qualities overall. So why aren’t the coaches on board with the consensus? It’s odd.
    McLellan and Chia haven’t exactly been nostalgic about old performances or contract status. So why is Schultz getting prime PP time? They’ve taken him off briefly just to put him right back so it does seem like they’ve considered removing him, it’s not just by default, at the end of the day they seem to think he has the highest potential on the PP and they see that potential as being so much higher than the rest that they are prepared to wait out some serious struggles until it clicks.

    The question is how much longer they are prepared to wait. If Klefbom draws back in against Winnipeg he could/should get the nod as they seem to prefer Sekera on PP2. But that would mean he’s playing first pairing, first PP and first PK. Guess that’s part of the issue. Especially if Davidson is out.

    Oh well. No matter what happens with Schultz the team as a whole needs to step it up. Haven’t looked sharp at all for the last few. Talbot stole one but this was pretty much a full road trip where they were behind the eightball.

  127. Dicky94 says:

    Bruce McCurdy,
    Looked like Shultz was interfered with on the first goal too.

  128. godot10 says:

    AsiaOil:

    Hall line carrying the load alone again with RNH sporting a racy -5 the last 2 games. When we get our 2nd line back it’s time to make a decision about what more important – $12 million on the 3rd line or a couple of decent defensemen. But let’s not get too strung out here. The defense is dodgy at best and now utterly decimated by injury. Good news is the guys will be back and one big trade fixes a huge number of issues – gotta be the right guy though……..Burns, Burns, Burns

    Fayne is $3.7 million. Nikitin is $4.5 million. Ference is $3.25 million. Schultz is $3.9 million.

    That is over $15 million of “wasted” cap space on the blueline. One does not have to give up Nugent-Hopkins and Eberle to fix the defense necessarily. In particular, their salaries are NOT a problem, I think you are wrong in suggesting that their salaries are an obstacle to fixing the defense.

  129. theres oil in virginia says:

    SwedishPoster,

    Great post.

  130. anonymous says:

    If Jultz was held even half as accountable as Yak has been, he’d have been off the team two years ago. Mind bottling.

  131. godot10 says:

    Krueger and Nelson had decent power plays with Schultz on the point. Both stuck a guy in front of the net so other teams couldn’t pressure the perimeter as hard on the PK.

    The first PP goal against last night was more Nugent-Hopkins fault than Schultz’s, IMHO. He made a poor decision under pressure to try to pass it to a point man who was also under pressure, instead of reversing the puck back into the corner.

    Teams can be over aggressive on the PK against the Oilers because they don’t have anyone in front of the net to make it a three against four, rather than four against five.

    Lander would be more useful on the first unit PP than Purcell. Krueger demonstrated that with Horcoff and Nelson with Lander. To win the draw, and occupy one defender in front of the net. The guy in front of the net HAS to be covered. If you don’t have a continual presence there, the PK can be aggressive on Nugent-Hopkins (or whomever) on the wall and Schultz on the point.

    Lander was one of the pieces on an elite power play in OKC for two full seasons, and for 50 games in the NHL last year.

    You can’t run the San Jose power play with the Oilers personnel. The Oilers have all perimeter guys on their first unit.

  132. theres oil in virginia says:

    Bruce McCurdy: This. Pouliot got sticked 4 different times on that play, MacKinnon got him on the hands, the side, and the face, then after Pouliot allegedly covered the puck for a billisecond Landeskog came in & gave him a short crosscheck in the back of the neck. And Pouliot got the only fucking penalty.

    I watched the sequence about a dozen times & just got more incredulous as I watched. About 40 minutes into the broadcast if anybody hasn’t burned the tape yet. The replay angle is better than the live view.

    And of course they scored the game winning goal on that powerplay.

    That wasn’t the ball game, but it was an annoying Part of the ballgame.

    Yep, Varla was the game, combined with the Oilers’ inability to match his steadiness at their own end, either with top-notch goaltending or a better defensive effort.

    I knew better than to watch that Pouliot play again. I saw what I needed to on the first glance and spared myself further frustration. The crosscheck on Davidson drew a shouted curse, though.

    As Dicky94 mentioned, Schultz was definitely interfered with on the shorty. He wouldn’t have gotten there to break it up, but it was still interference as the guy was tugging on him to slow him down. What a stupid penalty that would have been to take. Take away a goal and put your team down 2 men.

    I usually watch the out-of-town feeds, mostly because I can’t stand the in-game commercials on the Sportsnet feed, or the announcing crew, but I find it interesting that the way these other markets advertise the game is as much focused on the big hits and fights as it is on the great plays and saves. The NHL is catering to this demographic in the way they officiate the games.

    My favorite meaningless penalty is the over-the-glass delay of game. 2 minutes for that? Why is that any worse than icing? Make the offending team start in their own zone with no substitutions, or at worst make them start with a man in the penalty box for 0 minutes. Remember the time Teddy Peckham put the puck through the camera hole in the glass and got 2 minutes? Quality work by the zebras.

  133. Klima's_Bucket says:

    godot10: The Oilers have all perimeter guys on their first unit.

    You hit the nail right on the head.
    Perimeter guys on their first unit with muffins for shots and no one-time option.

  134. SwedishPoster says:

    godot10,

    Very good point. The PP has looked so much better with Lander and Horcoff and that’s obviously not because their high end offensive skill. We need someone to give the skill kids some room. Also the first unit really struggles getting sustained pressure due to their inability to regain the puck along the boards. Those type of players can help with that. If Lander has burnt his offensive bridges with McLellan why not put Hendricks in there to win faceoffs and play the Holmström role in front of the net.

    On the other hand the second unit lacks skill to create high end chances but does a pretty good job winning puck battles. It’s backwards.

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